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Analysis Study Research Paper | Law | Nigeria | Volume 12 Issue 7, July 2023
Territorial Jurisdiction of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria: A Case Study of Johnson V. Eze
Abstract: The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) is vested with exclusive original civil jurisdiction over labour and employment disputes. Its practice and procedure are regulated by the Court?s Civil Procedure Rules and other Statutes particularly the National Industrial Court Act, 2006. One of such statute is the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act (SCPA), sections 97 and 99 thereof, which requires that an originating process to be served outside the jurisdiction of the court it was filed, would be endorsed indicating this fact. This requirement shows that the service of the process is outside the territorial jurisdiction of the issuing court especially with regards to courts that have limited territorial jurisdiction. The NICN is of equal status with the State High Courts (SHCs) and the Federal High Court (FHC) which the issue of the applicability of the SCPA has been adjudicated upon but not the NICN. The issue is, is this requirement of the SCPA (which applicability to the SCH and FHC has been adjudicated upon), applicable to the NICN? What is the effect of failure to comply with the SCPA in proceedings before the NICN? These issues came up in Johnson v. Eze. This paper adopts doctrinal method in examining the impact of the position taken by the Court of Appeal in this case on the territorial jurisdiction of the NICN as well as its mandate as a specialized court. It found that the NICN has a singular nationwide territorial jurisdiction. It concludes that the decision is a welcomed development as it insulates the NICN from the technicalities associated with the application of sections 97 and 99 of the SCPA.
Keywords: Civil procedure, Court jurisdiction, Labour disputes, Legal practice, Nigeria, Specialised courts
Edition: Volume 12 Issue 7, July 2023,
Pages: 1221 - 1227